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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.95
Liaison Tim Albertson
Submission Date Dec. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

North Seattle College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Tim Albertson
Sustainability Coordinator
Student Development Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

Fall 2016 ENV 100 students conducted an air quality proposal forbidding residential units on campus within 400 feet of freeway. Students used instrumentation and collected data to support the proposal presented to College Council.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

1. The Sustainability Office works with the Project Management Department in applying project management skills to real projects on campus. Sample projects for 2016-17 include wayfinding, a College Center redesign and an all-gender restroom construction plan.
2. OCE&E – Opportunity Center for Employment & Education is a LEED Gold Certification Building that serves as a model to all visitors on campus. Sustainability Office work study students provide a green campus tour and this building is highlighted. Its features such as the green roof and rain gardens contribute to onsite stormwater management, and have helped us to retain the health of the groundwater on campus, as we sit at the headwaters of Thornton Creek. Large south facing windows, advanced energy management systems, and integrative building techniques were utilized with great success.
3. HSSR – Health Sciences & Student Resources is also certified LEED Gold building. The building itself integrates a number of ‘green’ features already highlighted in our OCE&E building, including filtered water-bottle fill-up stations, and advanced energy distribution systems. Additionally, the building features three large water-collecting cisterns, designed to collect rain water and distribute it throughout the plumbing systems to fill up the toilets, cutting down significantly on water consumption within the building.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

1. A solar array sits atop North Seattle College’s Education Building, installed in March 2015. It is the result of a collaboration between North Seattle College and Shoreline Community College. The energy generated by the array is minimal but rather it is more of a learning-oriented and dynamic system integrated into energy and HVAC courses.
2. In 2016, McKinstry was chosen to be Seattle Colleges' ESCO. On February 8th 2017, students, faculty and staff members participated in a charrette developing an energy audit plan. McKinstry has been contracted with two goals: reducing resources and integrating students into this multi-year project across all campuses within Seattle Colleges District.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

Fall 2016: English 101 class joined Student Leaderships to conduct research and analyze on the current food system at North Seattle College. It is part of the Student Leadership Sustainability Board's Food initiative, where students presented their research, findings and proposal for the whole campus. Guest speakers were invited to share about related issues such as urban agriculture, food equity and sustainable food sources. The student group provide recommendations to the College Council, who has the power to make significant change to the current food system.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

1. The Sustainability Office works with the Project Management Department in applying project management skills to real projects on campus. Sample projects for 2016-17 include a proposal for a courtyard living wall, species ID trail, a green roof, and a campus dog park.
2. Students work with a non-profit to remediate an invasive species, knotweed, from the surrounding wetland.
3. Students collaborate with staff and faculty on shared garden plots at the campus P-Patch. Collaborators include a botany faculty member that integrates student learning into identifying and growing pollinator species, and other plots that grow crops to be donated to the giving garden.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

1.In December 2016, students designed a comparison tool to evaluate compostable utensils, and NSC now uses compostable utensils according to Cedar Grove standards.
2. During the Food Initiative by the Student Leadership Board, a student group analyzed and evaluated how sustainable the food system at NSC is, and made recommendations on ways to have a healthier and more sustainable food on campus.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

1. Students organized a community engagement event promoting an SDOT overpass bridge to be built in 2020. Students continue to gather input on this project and will participate in an environmental assessment in 2017-18.
2. Students are also involved on the district transportation committee where they wrote a student survey that helped them increase a discount they receive on student ORCA transit cards.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

Work study and sustainability board students support a landfill diversion program through a number of projects based around learning outcomes that include: 3R bins, a pilot study for composting towels in the bathroom, compost bins for office break rooms, recycling station for plastic bags and batteries, water bottle filling stations to reduce amount of plastic bottle going to the landfill, and a cap and gown recycling program.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

Fall 2015, engineering club and work study students calculated a storm water utility credit that required extensive site plan calculations. Credits were obtained for CSO diversion strategies that include: runoff and storage into surrounding wetlands, bioswales, and rooftop water reuse that is collected in cisterns and filtered for use in toilets.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:

Student Leadership Sustainability Board serve as members on the President's Advisory Council on Sustainability and provide input for the writing sustainability action plan. Students participate in district sustainability committee and ESCO planning events (winter 2017).


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

1. BUS 229 Project Management applied learning objectives to the construction of a student advocated all-gender multi-stall restroom on campus.
2. Student Leadership Research and Advocacy Board went to Olympia, the State Capitol, to plea for free tuition.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:

The President's Advisory Council on Sustainability manages a sustainability fund, to which students participate on. Students seek for inefficiencies on campus that will contribute to a revolving green fund that contributes to the sustainability fund. Recent projects include calculating payback on a lighting retrofit, solar panel project on the education building, performing a triple bottom line cost analysis on switching to compostable utensils, and analyzing waste bills for three waste haulers as we seek to divert further from the landfill.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

1.North Seattle College provides land for the City of Seattle P-Patch program. The Sustainability Office engages in monthly meetings and outreach events. Work Study students implement projects throughout the garden, such as helping with composting efforts, and piloting a tea garden.
2.Spring 2015-North Seattle College Parent Advisory Council Lecture Series feature "Lecture on Sharing Nature with children" https://news.northseattle.edu/sharing-nature-lecture


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

1. Students collaborate with staff and faculty on shared garden plots at the campus P-Patch. Collaborators include a botany faculty member that integrates student learning into identifying and growing pollinator species, and other plots that grow crops to be donated to the giving garden.
2. A combination of student groups and advisers that include international programs, the sustainability board, student leadership, and Phi Theta Kappa collaborated on assessing food services on campus in developing more sustainable and nutritious options on campus.
3. At the Health Fair, nursing students practice health tests (e.g., glucose) on visitors.
4. Psychology course (Spring 2015) conducted a mental health workshop to campus.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:

1.Water Bottle Design Competition in collaboration with Liberty Bottle works . Every $3 from each purchase will go to Sustainability Fund to sponsor future student projects that use campus as a living lab.
2. The Art Committee at NSC has students paint a large murals yearly, most recently done in 2016. The following links includes a mural themed around the surrounding wetlands: https://news.northseattle.edu/campus-mural-2015


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.